• European Central Bank Embraces QE, For Better Or Worse

    Last Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the much-anticipated launch of a sovereign bond buying program at the rate of €60 billion ($70 billion) per month known as “quantitative easing.” The ECB's QE program could be as much as one trillion euros over the next two years. The ECB said the purpose for the larger than expected QE effort is to head-off deflation and stimulate the struggling Eurozone economy.

    It remains to be seen, however, whether the bond buying program will actually achieve its goals. It certainly hasn't worked as expected in the US, the UK or Japan. There are in fact some reasons to believe that QE will face even stronger headwinds in Europe, not to mention that the program is likely to devalue the Eurodollar which is already in freefall. We will look at all of these issues and more as we go along today.

    Despite the benefits of sharply lower energy prices, two international organizations revised their global growth forecasts lower last week. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank both reduced their growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016. While both organizations still expect global growth above 3% overall this year, they are becoming more concerned about recessions in Europe, South America and elsewhere. Details to follow.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 01-27-2015
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  • The Cult of Central Banking

    In today’s Outside the Box, good friend Ben Hunt informs us that we have entered the cult phase of the Golden Age of the Central Banker

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 01-23-2015
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  • Swiss Franc’s Surge = Chaos In Global Currency Markets

    Last Thursday, the Swiss National Bank stunned the financial world by decoupling the Swiss franc from the euro. This surprise move sent the franc up almost 40% against the euro in one day, although it didn’t close that high (up 19%). Nevertheless, many currency traders, banks and brokerages were left with devastating losses. I’ll give you the details below.

    But first, let’s take a look at the recent US economic data which has been disappointing overall. Following the stronger than expected GDP growth of 5% (annual rate) in the 3Q, the US economy seemed to stumble a bit in the 4Q. We’ll cover the latest reports before shifting our attention to Europe and Switzerland in particular.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 01-20-2015
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  • The Swiss Release the Kraken!

    If you want evidence that central bankers play by their own rules, regardless of what they say or what conventional wisdom tells us, last week’s action by the Swiss National Bank should pretty much fill the bill. My friend Anatole Kaletsky, in a CNBC interview not long after the announcement, quipped (with a completely straight face) that just as James Bond has a license to kill, central bankers have a license to lie.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 01-20-2015
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  • Is Borate a Actor or Rare Earth Element Opportunity?

    Over the last couple of months I have started sharing some insights on the penny stock market. Those of you who follow me know I have been steering clear of the penny stock market since 2011. Back during bull market from 2009 – 2011 investing in...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 01-20-2015
  • A War Between Two Worlds

    The terrorist attacks in Paris have fixated the world’s attention on the contrast between competing worldviews and what constitutes acceptable behavior in modern society. What are the principles by which society should be organized and run? Who gets to set those rules, and to what standards should others who do not believe in them be held?

    Posted to John Mauldin's Outside the Box by John Mauldin on 01-16-2015
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  • A Five-Year Global Financial Forecast: Tsunami Warning

    It is the time of the year for forecasts; but rather than do an annual forecast, which is as much a guessing game as anything else (and I am bad at guessing games), I’m going to do a five-year forecast to take us to the end of the decade, which I think may be useful for longer-term investors. We will focus on events and trends that I think have a high probability, and I’ll state what I think the probabilities are for my forecasts to actually happen. While I could provide several dozen items, I think there are seven major trends that are going to sweep over the globe and that as an investor you need to have on your radar screen. You will need to approach these trends with caution, but they will also provide significant opportunities.

    Posted to Thoughts From The Frontline by John Mauldin on 01-16-2015
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  • The Most Overlooked Threat to Your Buying Power

    By Dennis Miller Decades ago, one of the first things I did when I started looking after our aging parents’ money was move a substantial sum from their checking account to an interest-bearing account. When I asked why they had so much sitting in...
    Posted to Casey Research by Doug Casey on 01-16-2015
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  • Fears Of Russian Financial Crisis Roil Equity Markets

    Most Americans and others around the world are benefitting from the dramatic collapse in oil and energy prices. If oil prices remain around $50 a barrel this year, AAA estimates the energy savings should be $50-$70 billion in the US alone in 2015, or...
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  • No More Zombieland For The Markets!

    In This Issue.

    * Chuck thinks he has the SNB figured out!..

    * I wanna take you higher!

    * Russia to cut of gas to Europe?

    * 2015 to be year of yen reversal? .

    Posted to Daily Pfennig by Chuck Butler on 01-16-2015
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  • Is The US Treasury Market Rigged? Some Say Yes

    The last time federal regulators took a hard look at how Wall Street banks and brokers trade US Treasury securities – the largest bond market on the planet by a longshot – a little company called Google Inc. was just starting out.

    That was 1998, and the technological leaps since then – including ones that are now transforming bond markets – have left government regulators in the dust. In particular, executives from three of the biggest market-making firms in Treasuries say an electronic bait-and-switch tactic known as “spoofing,” – which is already the focus of a manipulation allegation at a major futures exchange – needs to be investigated in cash Treasuries (OTC, etc.) and related futures.

    Rules first enacted in 1986 that have gone virtually untouched since then are allowing certain high-tech firms to outmaneuver less-savvy rivals and are manipulating bond prices. They say a lack of cohesive regulation and technology to monitor “high-frequency traders” is making the world’s biggest government bond market more dangerous for everyone.

    Today I am reprinting an eye-opening article that appeared in Bloomberg/Businessweek on December 11 on the subject of manipulation in the Treasury market. Since then, I’ve seen no one else touch it. I’ve googled this subject dozens of ways… and very little on this topic comes up.You can read it yourself, and I think you will find it very interesting and troubling.

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 01-13-2015
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  • Economic Optimism Abounds As Crude Oil Plunges

    Each year at this time, we see a plethora of fresh forecasts for the New Year, and this year is certainly no exception, especially with the recent implosion in oil prices. There is widespread agreement that sharply lower energy prices will provide a boost to the global economy this year, especially for oil-importing nations including the US.

    As a result, almost all of the New Year forecasts that I have seen in recent days have been upbeat and revised higher with regard to the US economy. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea today to revisit the recent developments in the oil and energy markets over the last six months. What we have witnessed since last summer has been nothing short of breath-taking, to say the least!

    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 01-06-2015
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  • Handing Down Your Legacy - A Special Gift For Readers

    As we prepare to celebrate the New Year, now is a good time to make sure that your affairs are in order and all of your financial information is recorded in one convenient electronic file that can be updated or changed at any time. And we believe we have developed the best program on the market today to do so.

    Today I am going to address several important financial planning issues everyone should consider, whether you’re young, old or somewhere in between. I will also tell you how you can receive our free E-booklet entitled, “Handing Down Your Legacy” that will help your loved ones manage your finances after your death. Sadly, this is often much more of a difficult burden than most people realize, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    Our Handing Down Your Legacy is a convenient electronic document that makes it easy to put all of your important information in one place and makes it easy to update. There are several products on the market that allow you to consolidate all of your financial information in one place, but we developed Handing Down Your Legacy to allow you to include not only your investment records but also your final wishes.

    We believe our product is simply the most comprehensive and easy to use program available today. And best of all, it is absolutely FREE and there is no obligation on your part. So do yourself a favor and download Handing Down Your Legacy today. And make it your New Year’s resolution to complete it as soon as possible. Also, feel free to forward this E-Letter to your family and friends who may also benefit from this useful resource.


    Posted to Forecasts & Trends by Gary D. Halbert on 12-30-2014
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  • Gold Still In Bear Cycle?

    GOLD- Well, not a merry Christmas for Gold buyers just yet. We have said in our TMTF forecast service to watch 1190 as KEY support and 1241 would also need to be taken out on a closing basis before we could confirm a new uptrend in Gold and the end to...
    Posted to The Gold And Oil Guy by Chris Vermeulen on 12-25-2014
  • The Conundrum Facing Janet Yellen & the Fed

    The final 2014 meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee concluded yesterday, and the official policy statement released afterward contained some new language that surprised most Fed watchers. Throughout this year, the Fed’s policy statements have...
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